Lennon admits Rangers absence hits Hoops

06 July 2012 02:47

Celtic manager Neil Lennon expects the collapse of Rangers to hit his club financially but his budget for next season is unaffected by the absence of their Old Firm rivals in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Celtic were among 10 clubs who voted against the Ibrox newco's application to join the SPL, with their future now uncertain. SPL clubs face a shortfall of revenue next term with huge uncertainty if the new Rangers have to start life in the Third Division.

Celtic have consistently insisted they do not need Rangers to flourish but Lennon expects some sort of impact. "Financially and commercially it will bite us a bit but the club has its own financial structure and strategy in place and we'll move ahead regardless," he said.

"We always try and maintain a level ground on the spending going out and the money that we bring in.

"That hasn't changed and that was the plan going into the season anyway, regardless of the outcome of Wednesday."

Lennon admits he will miss the Old Firm derbies and the challenge throughout the season.

"There's that competitiveness, that rivalry, you are obviously going to miss the games," said Lennon as the club held a media conference to mark the permanent signing of goalkeeper Fraser Forster and the launch of their 2011-12 season review DVD.

"It's a great selling point for Scottish football but they are not here and there's nothing I can do about that.

"What I will say is we need our supporters to back the team now more than ever, to come and support us and invest in the club because we are going to be hit financially by the loss of Rangers in the SPL."

Source: PA

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